Florida lawyer, Guy S. DiMartino, DC, JD, discusses making an injury claim against Publix.
It happens all the time, somebody is walking in a Publix store and they slip, fall and injure his/herself on product or substance in an aisle or in the bathroom. What do you need to do? How will Publix handle the claim? Will you be able to receive compensation for your injuries? I will spend the next few moments attempting to explain these issues.
Unlike other supermarket chains, Publix really cares about their customer(s) experience. Publix's tagline “WHERE SHOPPING IS A PLEASURE” runs through the corporate culture. Most folks have a good feeling when they go into a Publix store. Generally, the stores are clean and the staff is courteous and helpful.
If You Injure Yourself in Publix
If you injure yourself in Publix – follow these steps:
- Report the injury – many folks are startled and embarrassed if they injure themselves – they get up quickly and think they are going to be okay – and even if that is so – you need to report the injury.
- Incident Report – A Publix employee, usually a manager, will either fill out or have you fill out an incident form. It is a carbon copy form and you should get the pink copy.
- Make note of what caused you to fall and where in the store it happened.
- Make note of anything that a Publix employee may have said.
- Make note of any of the employees' names who may have tended to you. You can actually write this information down on your copy of the incident form.
- If you feel you are injured – get checked out by a healthcare provider immediately.
- Odds are your incident will be captured on video – the video footage needs to be secured.
Publix Risk Management
Publix is a self-insured entity that pretty much handles its claims in-house in Lakeland, Florida. Publix has a whole risk management department that is outsourced to a third party administrator. As a general rule, Publix risk adjusters or claims handlers are professional.
My Experience with Publix Claims
Publix wants its customer(s) to have a good feeling about its store. If it believes the person is injured and it has some responsibility for the injury – it will try to do the right thing. Sometimes, it does take a lawsuit to get Publix to do the right thing. However, if Publix thinks the claim is “made-up, suspect or bogus”, don't think that it will pay the claim. Publix rigorously defends suspect claims.
Shortly after the injury, somebody from Publix's risk management will contact you by phone. Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries – you should or shouldn't talk to them. Publix also sends out a form letter to most folks who have been injured – offering a gift card for the poor experience – however – Publix also asks for a release of all claims with the gift card. This may or may not be fair – again depending on the nature and extent of your injuries.
Over the years, I have dealt with most of Publix's defense lawyers in Central and South Florida. Publix hires excellent lawyers to represent its interests in these cases.
If you have any questions about an injury that happened in Publix or making a claim against Publix, you can call me directly on my cell phone at (352) 267-9168.